The G8, at a meeting in Bonn Tuesday night, agreed on the text of a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would end the crisis in Yugoslavia. This progress is expected to clear the way for further talks later Wednesday concerning a Serbian troop withdrawal from Kosova.
Headlines from Russia indicate that the Russian parliament and the Russian people hold this latest agreement with the same lackluster enthusiasm as they displayed for the one achieved last week. Russia Today carries a Reuters report concerning Russia's domestic skepticism of the perceived Russian capitulation to NATO demands. The plan, which was agreed to by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, remains obstinate in its refusal for anything less than a NATO led peacekeeping force, much to the chagrin of the Russian military and the Communists, says the report. The second headliner from Russia Today is an AFP report detailing a meeting between Ivanov and U.S. Secretary of State Albright, after which Ivanov called for better U.S.-Russian relations. The Moscow Times also headlines the peace plan, but the second headline concentrates more on the domestic rift caused by the Kosova crisis. It reports on a recent Yelstin speech that blasted NATO's continued "aggression" against Yugoslavia. Yelstin reportedly denounced NATO's role in the process even while his Foreign Minister was negotiating the settlement in Bonn at the G8 meeting.
France's Le Monde Interactif concentrates on the details of the troop deployment that reportedly calls for French and British troops to be the first to enter Kosova. The report says that Britain will lead the international security force with 13,000 troops. Five different zones will be occupied by NATO troops with an Italian, German, U.S., French and British presence, respectively. Le Monde says that the agreement respects the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Yugoslavia but that the future holds a "large autonomy" for Kosova.
British online publications, although somewhat distracted by the sentencing of former cabinet member Jonathan Aitken to three years in prison for perjury and obstruction of justice, likewise feature the latest developments in the Balkan crisis. The Guardian Unlimited reports that NATO generals have been put on a four-hour notice for troop deployment into Kosova. Another prominent report on the crisis covers the impatience and escalating tensions within Kosova refugee camps, while yet another article discusses a promise made by the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) to not attack retreating Serbian troops. The latter report also details divisions within the Kosovar leadership and warns that tensions could flare in the wake of a Serbian withdrawal.
The Independent Online features an article by Robert Fisk, currently stationed in Kosova, who tells of the atmosphere of fear among both Muslim and Serbian civilians still remaining in Kosova. Fisk warns that Kosova's liberation could cause increased bloodshed. Another Independent writer reports from Bonn on the negotiations that ended "tantalisingly close" to a full settlement but which were broken off as the Russian delegation returned to Moscow to discuss a few sticking points.
The top story in WashingtonPost.com concerns the plight of Serbs who remain in Kosova on the eave of the entrance of NATO and the return of the KLA. The report notes, ironically, that nobody in Kosova expects the peacekeeping force to bring peace. A Post editorial discusses continued Serbian atrocities in Kosova and the latest reports of the mass burning of bodies to hide evidence of massacres. The article stresses that, despite all the talk of a possible peace agreement, Kosova's hopes for independence remain frustrated.
Zakariya Wright is a staff writer at iviews.com